UNMASKING THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN DISCRETIONARY NATIONAL SECURITY DECISIONS IN CANADA
Keywords: national security, discretion, profiling, immigration, transfer of offenders
AbstractThis paper explores three varied case studies within the author’s civil liberties legal practice that involve discretionary administrative decisions made in the name of public safety and/or national security. The first case study relates to the criminalization of dissent in the decision to prosecute a man who was attempting to attend a Parliamentary committee meeting based on the suspicion that he was a Greenpeace activist. The second case study considers the use of a public safety rationale for refusing the transfer of prisoners to Canada under the International Transfer of Offenders Act. And the final case study looks at the Public Safety Minister’s explanation for signing an immigration security certificate in 2008 that was tainted by torture. The author argues that, in each case, public safety or national security is raised to obfuscate the state’s unfair or discriminatory exercise of discretionary authority.
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